[YesAuto Design Decoding] I have done many car design interpretations, but it has never been as special as today's car. Its predecessors in the same series have sold more than 4.56 million vehicles in less than ten years. It is also the “sacred car” of Qiu Mingshan's deep merits and fame. I think everyone has guessed who this car is. Yes, it is the new member of the “China God Car” family-Wuling Hongguang PLUS. I thought that the “sacred car” that went in the wind and rain every day would not care too much about its own image, but Wuling Hongguang PLUS subverted everyone's imagination. When the shameless man starts to learn to be decent, I believe everyone wants to know what it has gone through. Recently, we went to Liuzhou, the birthplace of the “sacred car”, to find out.
Since its birth in 2010, Wuling Hongguang has become a symbol and phenomenon due to its astonishing sales and super-sweet jokes on the Internet. In nearly ten years, it has witnessed the changes in Chinese society and the progress of the times. Even with the imprint of the god car, it has never forgotten its role and responsibilities as the car of the struggler. Simply put, what kind of car the younger generation of Chinese strugglers need, then what kind of car is Wuling Hongguang PLUS. Next, let's take a look at how the “sacred car” is made.
■ 4.56 million vehicles in 10 years, briefly reviewing the development history of Wuling Hongguang
If you only look at the brand history, SAIC-GM-Wuling, which was established in 2002, cannot be regarded as an “old qualification”, but from the earliest Wuling Glory, Rongguang series to Hongguang series, Wuling brand has created one after another in just a dozen years. A sales miracle. Among them, the cumulative sales of Wuling Hongguang series, which was born in 2010, exceeded 4.56 million.
In the Hongguang family, Hongguang PLUS is also called “Dahongguang”, which also directly shows its status. The “big” of Hongguang PLUS is not only reflected in the large body and space, but also represents that it has become an important model for the Wuling brand to go up under the new CN150 modular platform. Today, we will also take a look at the evolution of the new generation of sacred cars through the two parts of design and platform explanations.
■ If you want to build a “sacred car”, first go offline and sell the car
Is it easier to complete the design of a model that focuses on functional requirements? I think most people would think so. But after talking with the designer, I found that there is no easy word in the designer's world. In addition, their design team is also very interesting.
Dong Xinwen is the person in charge of Wuling Hongguang PLUS styling design. Looking at his personal resume, he found that he is a very pure “Wuling person”. Dong Xinwen joined SAIC-GM-Wuling after graduation, and it has been 12 years. He is the first generation designer trained by SAIC-GM-Wuling. He has been sent by the company to GM North America and South Korea Design Center for training and learning. Starting from a designer, he has served as director design, expert designer, and design manager. In 2017, he served Director of Modeling Operations of Technology Center. During the 12 years of work, Dong Xinwen has participated in the design of many Wuling and Baojun projects. It can be said that he has personally experienced the development and growth of Wuling Hongguang, and Wuling Hongguang has also made Dong Xinwen.
The design team led by Dong Xinwen is very young. Most of them are born in the 90s. Like Dong Xinwen, many young designers entered SAIC-GM-Wuling as soon as they graduated. Outside of work, they don’t seem to have much of a model like Wuling Hongguang. Intersection. Dong Xinwen frankly said that Wuling Hongguang and other passenger cars are more grounded, so designers must understand the market and customers. The team’s approach sends designers to the dealer system to sell cars, so that there is a process of direct communication to get a good feel for what consumers really want.
When we talk about the design of Wuling Hongguang PLUS, the three most commonly seen words are: “parallel rectangle, simple and tough, and functional aesthetics”. They sound a bit “virtual”, but they all have a lot on Wuling Hongguang PLUS. Concrete manifestation. In the goal pursued by the designer, the new car must reflect the user's personality and meet the actual needs. Their character is brave, tough and simple, then give it a simple and tough design; users need to use a car to pull goods from Monday to Friday, and want to use it as a family car attribute on weekends, then the new car must meet the basis of functional requirements On top, give more aesthetic design. If the previous Wuling models were purely used to “discuss” life, then Hongguang PLUS can now also be used to “enjoy” life.
■ To pass on, and to make strides forward
From 2007 to the company, Dong Xinwen participated in the design of Wuling Hongguang series models. He believes that the design ideas of Hongguang models in the past are mainly inheritance, because the cultural heritage of the god car is very deep. Although the products of each generation are improving, there are no major changes, and they are actually relatively conservative.
In terms of the specific form of expression, the designer believes that the shape of the new car should be as simple as possible, not cumbersome, and making it too complicated is not a tonality that users like. The shape is not a cold shape, it is fat after it is over, and it is flat when it is too flat. Therefore, when designing, it is necessary to grasp the scale so that users can feel the sense of quality with the naked eye.
There are four main keywords in the exterior design of Wuling Hongguang PLUS: parallel, simple, square, and reliable. If you read these four keywords and then look at the front face of Hongguang PLUS, you will find that all the details are reflected. The most obvious is that the headlights are paired with a horizontal and parallel double chrome design, which further evolves the Wuling family front face and enhances brand recognition.
For the body side of Hongguang PLUS, Dong Xinwen mentioned two points, the first is the suspension roof design. Although many models have such a design, it is not simple for a car such as Hongguang PLUS to have such a favorable price and still be able to design a floating roof. The second is the “double parallel” waistline, which makes the shape more abundant, and it does not mean that there is nothing other than the horizontal lines. In addition, the designer also hopes to use this feature to reflect the tenacity of the Wuling brand and users.
■ How to balance cost and design
Designers and engineers seem to be both partners and enemies. Designers always hope to design things that are as beautiful as possible. Engineers always have to think about the cost. After all, even if an extra set of molds is opened, the cost is very high. Therefore, the “competition” between the two parties is particularly evident on civilian models such as Wuling Hongguang.
The Wuling Hongguang series is different from our common passenger cars. The body is relatively tall, and the design of the body curve poses a great challenge to engineering, but the designer did not do it to save trouble, and finally realized the effect of the mass production version. Through the adjustment of the ratio, the wheelbase of Hongguang PLUS has been further lengthened to 2800mm.
Although the overall shape of the tail of Hongguang PLUS is not as stunning as the front face, there are still some design details that can be shared. The highlight is mainly the changes in the shape of the lamp unit and the position of the license plate, especially the position of the license plate. The previous Wuling models were basically placed in the middle, while the Hongguang PLUS broke the convention and placed it below, making the visual effect at the top of the tail more concise and clean.
There are also some stories about the paint color of the exterior of Hongguang PLUS. It does not use traditional colors such as silver and white like the previous Hongguang models. The designer went to the production line to make new pigments. The two colors of blue stone blue and polar white were specially developed, including Xingyao black. This is mainly to reflect the feeling of Hongguang PLUS business. In the past, the old colors of Hongguang could not be expressed and supported. After adopting the commercial colors of blue stone blue and star black, it has a more quality experience.
■ The texture of the interior and the improvement brought by the new platform
The order of car design is generally exterior decoration first, interior decoration second. The interior of Hongguang PLUS was actually started in June 2017, and the internal project was officially established. Dong Xinwen frankly said that the design of the interior has taken many detours. Since the company attaches great importance to this model (an important model in the Hongguang series), the design team has high expectations for the interior at the beginning and the design is very complicated.
The functional aesthetics of Hongguang PLUS interiors emphasizes function-oriented design. Too complicated interior design is not Wuling's tonality, nor can it take into account functions. In the end, the designer reduced a lot of unnecessary repetitions and gradually reduced the complexity to simplicity. In the later stage of the design, the design of the screen area, the door panel area, and the air outlet of the air conditioner realized the unity of the inside and the outside, and the parallel rectangle was tough and simple. This is the process of the evolution of the interior design.
Entering the Hongguang PLUS car, our deepest feeling is that it is regular and simple, not bloated, and there is no complicated design. This can return to the “character” mentioned earlier. As a struggling person, the user must have a tough personality and a simple personality, that is, the character of working hard for himself and his family, and the interior of Hongguang PLUS wants to reflect this. Kind of “character.”
Frankly speaking, the quality of the interior is largely determined by the cost, followed by the designer's taste. This time, Wuling has invested a lot for this. Many small parts need to be molded separately, and the increase in modeling is costly. At the same time, the design department and other departments such as engineering have coordinated to make the parts that can be touched in the car use soft materials as much as possible, so that users can feel the texture of what they see and touch.
Now the steering wheel of Hongguang PLUS is derived from the Baojun model. In fact, Dong Xinwen originally wanted to redesign a steering wheel, but due to time and cost reasons, he finally failed to do so. As a designer, I always want to pursue the best look, but the cost is often not enough, otherwise it will be grafted on to the user. However, Dong Xinwen believes that this can not be called a pity, this is a process that must be experienced for product development, and it cannot be achieved in one step.
Taking into account the functional orientation, the designer made two interior color schemes. One is mainly classic black and shell gray, and this scheme has finally evolved to today. The other is mainly blue, with a technological style. Because now is the Internet age, the overall quality and needs of Wuling customers are also rising, which is also in line with the trend of younger users. But it may be because it was too radical. After internal communication and market research, the blue color design scheme was not retained.
■ What changes have been brought about by the CN150 platform
Hongguang PLUS is built using Wuling's new CN150 front-rear drive wide platform, which has the advantages of high scalability and efficient modularity. Compared with the old Hongguang series, it will be substantially improved in terms of body structure, interior space, chassis tuning, and safety quality. In fact, I don't want to talk about too much space, because it is a routine operation for this type of car, and it is difficult to play new tricks. Here is a brief introduction to the main highlights, first look at the product development direction.
Since it is “PLUS”, of course it must be large. Its body specifications are further increased than that of Wuling Hongguang S models, especially in terms of body width. Not only the passengers are more comfortable, but also the loading space is larger and the freight efficiency is higher. The overall size is closer to products such as Lingzhi M5 and Refine M3 that we are familiar with and also have the functions of IKEA. In addition, the ground clearance of Wuling Hongguang PLUS is 187mm in the no-load state and 172mm in the full-load state, so there is no need to worry about the passability.
The Wuling Hongguang PLUS seat layout adopts the “2+2+3” and “2+3+3” methods. Users can flexibly allocate the space in the car according to their own needs. Its floor adopts a flat design, and the third row supports two modes: down and up, providing a maximum space of 4102 liters.
The CN150 platform is different from the previous Hongguang series platforms. In addition to the increase in body size, the entire platform also considers some future models, including MPV, SUV, pickup and new energy vehicles, so it takes into account more powertrains and the future New technology. In the chassis suspension, a lot of leaf springs and independent suspension technologies are made for the different positioning of the models. At the same time, the addition of four-wheel drive models will also be considered in the future. Through continuous adjustment and optimization, Hongguang PLUS has also found a better balance between comfort and control. It has a good experience whether it is pulling goods or daily use.
Full text summary:
When a car can sell nearly 5 million units in 10 years, then its significance surpasses the car itself, it represents a phenomenon of an era. At different stages, Wuling Hongguang has done everything it can to meet everyone's needs. So you can say that it has been changing, but you can also say that it has not changed. Wuling Hongguang PLUS is the representative of the spiritual connotation of the “Godcar” family. Through the new design and the application of the new platform, it can meet the upgrade needs of users from the outside to the inside. Obviously, this kind of Hongguang went to Qiu Mingshan, and it was more versatile.